Tongaat Hulett CEO Peter Staude. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Tongaat Hulett CEO Peter Staude. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Tongaat Hulett’s CEO, Peter Staude, should step down after the sugar producer’s "appalling" annual results, Investec says.

"After 10 years of negative cumulative free cash flow, declining returns and nil cumulative earnings growth or share price appreciation, we think it is time for the CEO since 2002 to step aside," Investec said in a report entitled Time for change.

The scathing report came just days after Tongaat reported headline earnings for the year to March had fallen 37.2% to R617m. The share price slid 9.6% on Thursday morning, before closing 5% down at R81, the lowest since June 2009. It has declined 29.3% this year.

Investec’s call, in the report authored by Anthony Geard, is a rare rebuke, with large institutions tending to refrain from expressly stating they want top executives to resign.

Tongaat management said in November, halfway through its financial year, that the group held a "positive outlook" for the full year to March.

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